Trump, President of Israeli Settlers

If Donald Trump were an Israeli politician, it is possible he would be ranked more politically conservative than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But David Friedman, the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, would clearly be on the far right. He supports Jewish settlement in the West Bank, has advocated for the annexation of Palestinian territories, militates against the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel … and calls every Jew that is favorable to a Palestinian state a “collaborator.”

David Friedman has spent recent decades raising funds overseas for Beit El, one of the oldest and most militant Jewish settlements in the West Bank. For some time now, he has had the support of Jared Kushner’s family. Kushner, who in 2009 married a certain Ivanka Trump, daughter of the New York multibillionaire and recently elected president of the United States, was just named senior adviser to the latter.

In fact, Trump himself signed a check for $10,000 for Beit El in 2003. Yet this ultra-orthodox settlement has a famous extreme right rabbi and is the headquarters of religious Zionists’ favorite online news site. Among the most well known residents is Netanyahu’s brother-in-law, who is never to shy about publicly accusing the prime minister of being “cautious” in terms of colonization.

In Washington, supported by evangelical voters who almost unconditionally support Israeli leaders, Trump and the team he has chosen are therefore at the service of Jewish settlers, themselves continually pulling Netanyahu’s coalition further to the right. Suffice it to say that the Palestinian people are railing or despairing, depending. In any case, they’ve lost the little hope they had left. In these circumstances, a single spark can set a fire.

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